By SAMUEL DARROCH
MORWELL Latrobe Valley is determined to bring a trophy home from the Australian Bocce Championships in Queensland next month with nine players set to make the journey north.
Led by coach Sally Fava, the women’s team of five will contest the singles, doubles and triples events in an attempt to emulate the form that saw them win the championship in 2008.
The experienced team of Fava, Christina Finocchiaro, Maria Maselli, Anna Prezioso and Diane Penney is set to challenge the nation’s best, including Queensland’s Barbara Jones who currently holds the singles and precision throw title.
“We look forward to it because it is very different to our local competition; its a lot tougher… and it makes us play a lot harder because we’re playing against the best,” Maselli said.
“We’ve picked a fairly strong team so hopefully we can achieve something and bring something back.”
A broken arm forced defending precision throw champion Nick Cooper to withdraw from this year’s event, a huge blow to the men’s team prospects.
They will, however, field a strong side including Frank Finocchiaro, Felice Maselli, Felice Prezisio and Franco Fava with 16 years of national title experience between them.
Lacking established ‘shooters’ to break up games, the men will rely on accuracy and finesse in their campaign.
This year’s event, the 43rd of its kind and 18th for women, has attracted 12 international players among 62 competitors who will vie for 10 titles across four days of competition.
The tournament will be held from 7 to 10 June in Redlands, Queensland.
The Morwell Latrobe Valley club will use the event as a training ground for the Latrobe Classic to be held over the first weekend in July.